I'm new around here and have a pool in this new house. We are not actually moved in and so right now I am running from one house to the other daily to clean the skimmers and save the stupid Polaris from committing suicide by catching its tail in the rocks or establishing an infinite loop as it gets stuck on the beach area ledge and twists itself into a stupor.
But, the real issue is the chlorine level, which is staying near 0.5. Probably due to the high CYA level, at least 100, though I'll admit it could be more, need to bring distilled water to the house to test by halves. The pool has been on chlorine tabs since it was built in 1999 or so. And, the sale of the house coincided with the hurricane so it is still probably suffering some from that at the same time as change of owners, lack of attention, several days down for repairs around closing on sale.
So, the question I have first is... given a sunny exposure is there some ideal CYA level that I ought to shoot for since CYA helps protect chlorine from sunight? 50? 75? 80?
Next, they call it The Woodlands for a reason.... all those tall pines across the fence sure do manage to drop pine seeds and needles into my pool. I clean the skimmers every day, twice if it rains, and I still have to clean the strainer basket at the filter pump every other day as so much stuff gets past the skimmers. I noticed a "skimmer liner" for sale at one site, but not in the local stores. Is that something that might help me through this fall season, or a bad idea for some reason? I can only imagine the damage it might do if it fell apart and plugged up the lines or the pump.
Third, I am a big fan of online ordering, but my last obsession... er, hobby, of fish keeping showed me that it is certainly possible to buy way more than you need when you think you are saving money each time. So, this "Water Wand" that helps you clean the cartridge filter.... worth $20 or so, or one more gadget that will be in the way eventually? Simple is good for now.
As for shopping, I am about to order the test kit, although the test strips I have do agree with Leslie's free water test. I don't think I've ever gotten the chlorine level up enough to have actually shocked the pool, given the CYA of 100 or something. 4 lbs is not enough according to the Pool calculator, and I was not around to see what the levels got to after a few hours of circulation.
I could buy the skimmer liner and the water wand and even a spare cartridge just in case I tear one (of the 4) somehow, and a wall whale as I've hurt my back, and a decent telescoping pole as the aluminum one is making me crazy, and a spare O-ring for the filter.... is this wise or am I going overboard?
Finally, we have a very nice rock waterfall and the pools of water are collecting green algae. The Aqualik program is set up to run the waterfall for awhile in the late afternoon. A clever friend at the office that is pool obsessed had a lot of advice to offer about when to run pumps and polaris and waterfalls, short version was waterfall first, then run pumps at night with the Polaris and only once a day. Running the waterfall when we are home for dinner seems nice, and we expect to use the spa after dinner as well. If I go to BBB method, I may end the day with a shot of bleach for the pool, perhaps as I run the waterfall once more to cycle the bleach, then run the pool pump and polaris to clean up. Does this sound right for this area?
For now, I think I will do a good shocking after we are out of the spa, run the waterfall to circulate that for 10 or 20 minutes, and after the pool circulates for another 10 minutes do a test to see how far I got with the chlorine levels. Will 20 minutes be enought to attack the algae in the waterfall? Or do I need to hit it with some straight liquid bleach, maybe a cup per rock-pool spot?
Thanks for the help, sorry for the scatter-shot questions, but I couldn't quite separate them all into different posts.